How my wife came to love USC
So here it is:
My wife, Linda, is a life long Jersey girl and has never been into college sports. She grew up a Jets and Yankees fan and her love for those teams runs very deep. I on the other hand having grown up a Dodger fan I have no love for the Yankees but over the years my love for the Dodgers waned as I moved around the country but not my love for SC.
When we started dating SC was going through the doldrums dubbed the Hackett years, a sorry level of underachievement. Ours was a long distance relationship since I had yet to move from D.C. to Long Island. Upon my arrival to Long Island I focused on two things; my work and Linda, I knew she was the one. Throughout my courtship of Linda there were many outings with her family. My family is out on the west coast so we spent a lot of free time with her family. They heard me talk about SC and they were always polite but were disinterested.
When we were married in 2001 Linda moved to Long Island and slowly the transformation started to take place. We would go to a local restaurant or bar and I would quietly get the bartender to put on the SC game, provided it was on. Linda was amused but still didn’t get into it. Then in 2002 we decided to move back to Jersey.
Side note: the power of the Mother-Daughter relationship can move mountains so this was a battle I was going to lose, so upon making the move to Jersey I was able to get some concessions built in for me.
I used to carry one of those two-way pagers that update football scores as they happened and on days when SC’s game wasn’t on the tube or because of my call schedule we couldn’t go out so I would lie in bed checking the pager every two minutes for an updated score. By now Linda thinks I need serious help and is now wondering if she lacked serious mental judgment for letting me into her life.
But the full force of my obsession for USC football hit my wife like a freight train the night SC played Auburn in 2003. The MSM thought that AU was going to stick it to SC that night.
Side note: I like to cook but my schedule during the week doesn't allow me to play mad scientist in the kitchen until the weekend. When I cook I always have a bottle of wine open for drinking and cooking.
So it was lining up to be the perfect storm: no weekend call, SC playing on national TV, the kitchen at my disposal and a bottle of wine. Now I don't drink during the week, unless I have a business dinner and then it is only one drink. I mean this is NYC and I don’t want my car to get impounded. So plan was to have dinner at halftime. I've got the kitchen looking something like Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef, food everywhere pots on the stove etc. and this little TV in the corner to watch the game.
Side note: There’s an old military saying, I don’t care how good the plan is when first bullets fly everything turns to S**T!
Such was the case on this night. The first bullet flying that night was the kick-off. I had a nice bottle of wine opened and was in the middle of my first glass and decided that it was time for a celebration. So I put the wine away and rooted around in the kitchen cabinets until I found what I was looking for a bottle of Cuervo Gold! BIG MISTAKE! What followed can only be described as a high-octane version of beer pong. Any time SC did something good, score a TD, recover a fumble, or make a big play it was rewarded with a shot of what I will call the Golden Nectar. By this time dinner was forgotten and Linda was looking for a place to hide from all the screaming that was coming from the kitchen.
Now the big question here is throughout all that happened on that night how did Linda become an SC fan? Well that was part of the concession when we moved from Long Island. I still had to drive from Jersey to Long Island to go to work every day and weekends when I was on call which were too numerous to count, so that meant a lot of time in the car. The only thing I asked for was that during football season we go to a place where we could see SC play. She agreed and has not regretted it since. On weekends when I work, during football season, she is constantly paging me as to when I will be home so we can go watch the game. It was during this years Rose Bowl that the transformation was complete. When Reggie made that bonehead lateral you could hear her across town cursing like a sailor- something that is completely out of character for her. In the end she understood what was important to me and she accepted it as her own.
I mean, if I have to listen to that crazy nut Fireman Ed scream J--E--T--S JETS, JETS, JETS! on a regular basis. She can put up with a little Conquest and Fight On! As well as that damn horse running around the track.
Aint life great! I think so.